Freedonia study: US demand for natural polymers to reach $4.6 billion in 2016

CLEVELAND, OHIO, December 4, 2012-

US demand for natural polymers is forecast to expand at a strong 6.9 percent annual pace to $4.6 billion in 2016, reaching 1.7 billion pounds. Growth will stem from continued trends favoring natural ingredients in the large food and beverage industry. In particular, this will support demand for cellulose ethers, as well as natural gums. A favorable outlook for oilfield drilling will bode well for guar gum and other natural polymers that are used as additives in drilling and stimulation (fracturing) fluids. Growth will continue to be impacted by the climatic and political uncertainties associated with natural products that are derived from plants that are grown only in certain parts of the world. These and other trends are presented in Natural Polymers, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Cellulose ethers represent the single largest natural polymer type, accounting for over one-third of the market. Methyl cellulose will continue to lead the category, although demand for microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), and hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) will also be significant. Methyl cellulose is widely used in construction materials and will therefore benefit from a notable rebound in construction activity. The improving construction outlook will also fuel rapid growth for HEC, which is utilized primarily in water-based paint.

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